a poem by Emma Moonsinger

Let me say only one thing more
In passing
A casual sort of observation

Stripped of nuance
Free of rhythm
Without implication
No agenda whatsoever
An amusement merely
An amusement

When I moved to Forestville
For the sake of Love (insert raucous laughter here)
I made myself a promise
On that first starry night

I promised myself that I would
Spend each night
Upon that porch
Looking up at the starlit sky

It hung so closely overhead
It was unlike any sky I had seen
Since childhood
And I made a solemn vow

I thought that it could only do me good

I promised myself that I would
Each night, observe that sky
From upon that porch

It was deep and dark and somehow welcoming
That lovely sparkling expanse

And I swore that I would
From that day on (cross my jaded heart)
For as long as I lived in that neat place
Look up and upon that sky
For a moment I would dwell
Either giving thanks or
Barring that, open myself to
Accept its broadcast benevolence

The trees, you know, the trees
Seemed to know what I was up to
Flooded with a basic, off-hand, casual thanks, I
That I would pray again
And would continue to pray
Under those knowing trees
Until eventually
I would come to understand such beauty
And add meaning to my prayers

The cats had no problem with it
They were out there every night naturally
Secure in the knowledge
Deprived to me
By too much effort
And far too much muddled thought
And I went inside on that first night
With a solemn SOLEMN sacred SACRED searing vow
Branded fresh upon my lips
I swore

With an unfamiliar pride
Bravely swelling my stupid, childish heart
I swore

With tight closed eyes and clenchéd hands
I swore

And I lived in Forestville for –what?—
Three years (or more, I guess)
And never set foot out on that porch
At night

from: Awake Amid Ancestral Dreams, by Emma Moonsinger
TO RIDE THIS BUS (they say)
a poem by Emma Moonsinger

To ride this bus
You only have to get on board
That’s what the song tells us
(But this bus never stops)

But this bus never stops
Never slows
Has no doors or windows
Is always crowded to the gills
(Packed fairly solidly)

Packed fairly solidly
With liars and scoundrels
And charlatans and thieves
Mirror admirers, clowns and at least one fool
(And this bus)

And this bus
Bears a sign that says
It’s on its rapid, easy swaying way
To Wisdom
(Wherever that may be)

Wherever that may be
They are clamoring to get on board
And be taken for that raucous ride
(Don’t let this chance go by!)

Don’t let this chance go by
Rocking on its bushings, jolting side to side
It bounces along the way
(You pay a hefty price)

You pay a hefty price
And there’s something not quite right
About the smell of it
(The indifference of the driver)

The indifference of the driver
The smugness of the throng
The nagging thought that maybe
(Now that you’re aboard)

Now that you’re aboard
The nagging thought that maybe
The others have no nagging thoughts at all
(So, pardon me)

So, pardon me
And let me through
I think it’s time
That I got off
(To ride this bus)

To ride this bus (so they say)
You only have to get on board

from: Awake Amid Ancestral Dreams, by Emma Moonsinger